Do I even care if people like me or not? In theory, the answer should be no. In reality, the answer is definitely yes, I do care if you like me, I care even more if you don't like me. I have no idea what type of conditioning causes these feelings but I place the opinions others have of me in a very high place. When I think about it logically, it's bizarre. Allowing people, even people who don't know me to somehow make a judgement call on my worthiness. Yet it has been something I have always felt deeply.
An extroverted introvert. Am I one? Are you one? Confused? Me too. Ever made plans with all the enthusiasm in the world only to change your mind the minute you leave the social situation you are in and wish you hadn't? I often get caught up in a moment and agree to things that I actually would rather not do. Then I have to pain myself to find ways to get out of it.
I’ve always needed a lot of time alone. Maybe this comes from being an only child. Maybe it comes from being an introvert. Sharing a home office this year for a few weeks reminded me how much I need my own space. I realised this very quickly and set about creating a space, just for me.
When my anxiety got worse, it would affect my sleep terribly. I would get into bed early, 8.30-9 pm ready for a great nights sleep, and then the thoughts would start. They were racing through my mind faster than a kid filling up a bag at the lolly pick n mix.
I have been speeding through life, my whole life. Hitting milestones feel as vital to me as oxygen. Chasing the approval of other people was the primary motivator. Often, and ridiculously, I have found myself chasing the approval of people I don't even aspire to be.
Being out of control is the thought that makes me sick to my stomach. I'm quite aware that I have no actual control over anything. Yet I still make it my mission every single day to play pretend and try as hard as possible to micromanage every last happening in the vain hope that I may sway the outcome of all daily interactions and keep myself comfortable. Comfortable and more importantly, safe.
From the moment we are born, we are being programmed. It happens to us all. Think about the vital stages of growth that your brain goes through in your life. We are developing at an extraordinary rate from birth through childhood, teenage years and early adulthood.
After procrastinating and putting it off for more than a month, I recently made a video recording of myself, for work. I have been quite disappointed with the finished product. Not for reasons you would usually suspect; my appearance or the strange feeling of hearing my voice talking back. But instead, I felt there was a complete lack of expression on my face as I was talking.